She’s going out tonight, she’s feeling all right, and Shania Twain definitely let it all hang out at the 2019 American Music Awards!
The Canadian country icon closed the show at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, flanked by male dancers dressed in her signature leopard print, and female dancers rocking hot pink blazers and “short skirts.” But would you expect anything less from the woman who arrived to headline the 2017 Grey Cup on a dog sled?
Twain’s AMA performance proved she still had the moves (and the touch), and it was all to promote her upcoming “Let’s Go” Las Vegas residency, which kicks off at the Zappos Theater at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on Dec. 6.
This marked her first appearance on the AMAs stage since 2003. Singing abbreviated versions of her biggest hits, Twain — clad in a flamingo pink silk robe and an orange bejeweled corset — brought the crowd to their feet with renditions of “Any Man of Mine,” “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” and her empowerment anthem, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”
“Artist of the Decade” winner Taylor Swift and “Favourite Album - Rap/Hip Hop” winner Post Malone were among the stars grooving to Twain’s tunes at the big show, though the latter should not be a surprise. Back in August, Post Malone told Jimmy Fallon he listened to “a lot of Shania Twain” backstage while on tour. And for Posty, Shania’s AMA medley was TikTok-worthy:
Twain’s gone on record as being a fan of his too, and before she whipped her hair and did what she dared with her uptempo classics, she opened her performance with an acoustic mashup of Post Malone’s “Rockstar,” Twenty One Pilots’ “Stressed Out,” Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and Drake’s “God’s Plan,” before segueing into her ballad, “You’re Still The One.”
And you better believe her guitar was fully blinged out with pink sparkles. She told entertainment outlet On the Red Carpet that her intimate start was a way to honour “artists [she’s] currently in love with” in a “very colourful, very fun, and really wonderful way to get reconnected.”
The 54-year-old’s contemporary flare was not limited to her cover song choices, either. Earlier in the night, Twain had memorable cameos on the ceremony’s audience reaction cam, notably snapping along to Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s steamy performance of “Senorita” while standing next to her husband Frédéric Thiébaud and fellow crossover sensation, “Old Town Road” singer, Lil Nas X.
Twain proved that fashion game recognized fashion game, writing about Lil Nas X on Instagram, “We love an animal print.”
But perhaps Twain’s biggest admirer was “Schitt’s Creek” co-creator and star, Dan Levy. The Emmy nominee and Canadian Screen Award winner told Variety that she was the performer he was most looking forward to watching. “As a Canadian, Shania Twain [is the performer I’m dying to see],” Levy told Variety prior to the show. “Also, how rare is the opportunity to see Shania Twain?!” And for the record, his favourite Twain song is “From This Moment On.”
With Levy’s love for Twain in mind, here are our other top Canadian highlights from the 2019 American Music Awards:
Dan Levy’s unexpected Harry Styles shout-out
Yes, we’ve got to start our list with Dan Levy. Not only did he make a splash at his first American Music Awards as a presenter in his “Schitt’s Creek” chic black Valentino suited look and black-and-red duster coat, but he landed the joke of the night when explaining his attendance.
Presenting the “Favourite Pop/Rock Album” with Heidi Klum, in his trademark dry delivery, he said, “Heidi and I could not be more proud to be here as two people who have both made substantial contributions to the American music landscape. I just pre-ordered the new Harry Styles album …” When Klum countered that she just married “very handsome musician from the band Tokio Hotel,” he replied, “I didn’t know it was a contest, Heidi but I guess you win!”
Levy, who clearly loves Harry Styles as much as we do, recently signed a three-year development deal with ABC Studios, the broadcaster of the AMAs. But his excitement about new projects may pale in comparison to the hug he got from Taylor Swift as he presented her with the award.
Camila Cabello sends love to Shawn Mendes’ mom in Toronto
Obviously, we expected to see some award show PDA from real-life couple Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello when it was announced they would sing their “Señorita” track at the AMAs.
Their performance came with the couple’s usual frills: sultry glances, a sleeveless Shawn at the microphone, and Camila shimmying around him in a red fringe number. And yes, their on-stage sizzle predictably left Taylor Swift with her mouth agape.
But, when the two won for “Collaboration of the Year,” Cabello ran to the mic first, and quickly thanked their fans before saying, “Shout-out to Shawn’s mom Karen, who’s watching in Toronto!!!”
Mendes, who hails from Pickering, Ont., looked embarrassed by Cabello’s spontaneous namedrop and quickly added, “We love you, Mom.”
The two were seen embracing each other later on during Billie Eilish’s “Nothing Left to Say” performance, and if you squint, you can see fellow Canadian Dan Levy bobbing his head to the right of Shawmila.
Taylor Swift’s “Lover” victories are a win for this Canadian music school
Sure, Taylor Swift is now the winningest artist in AMA history; scoring 29 awards over the course of her career, beating the record previously held by Michael Jackson, with 24 trophies. Swift was named “Artist of the Year” and “Artist of the Decade,” and won “Favourite Pop/Rock Album,” “Favourite Music Video” for “You Need to Calm Down,” “Favourite Female Artist - Pop/Rock,” and “Favourite Artist - Adult Contemporary.”
These wins are all in support of her album “Lover,” which includes a sample of Toronto’s Regent Park School of Music on her song “It’s Nice to Have a Friend.” The use of “Summer in the South” on the track means the students and school associated with the composition will receive royalties whenever the album is bought, or streamed. And you can bet that “Lover” will come back into the rotation for many following Swift’s history-making victories.
Cobie Smulders shares a moment with honourary Canadian, Carrie Underwood
Vancouver’s Cobie Smulders traded in her Robin Sparkles jean jacket for a killer gold Dundas blazer and minidress at the AMAs this year. The “Stumptown” lead actress attended with her actor husband Taran Killam, and presented the “Favourite Album - Country” award with her co-star Michael Ealy.
And yes, when winner Carrie Underwood accepted her statue, she thanked her Peterborough, Ont.-born former NHLer husband Mike Fisher, and their part-Canadian kids, Isaiah and Jacob.